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East Africa Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Oct 06, 2003

This Public Announcement is being issued to remind Americans of the continuing potential for terrorist actions, including kidnapping, against U.S. citizens in East Africa. This Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement of January 4, 2003, and expires on July 10, 2003.

On November 28, 2002, a car bomb attack on a hotel near Mombasa, Kenya killed 15 people; an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa took place on the same day. The threat to aircraft by terrorists using shoulder-fired missiles continues in Kenya, including Nairobi. Seaports may also be targeted. Other East African countries face similar threats.

Supporters of Al-Qaida and other extremists are still active in east Africa. The Department of State continues to receive threat information pertaining to this region and believes it is prudent to alert American citizens that such information is being received, so American citizens can make an informed decision whether to travel to or remain in East Africa.

The Department of State reminds Americans to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution. U.S. citizens and interests abroad remain at risk of terrorist attacks by groups including but not limited to those with links to Al-Qaida. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Increased security at official U.S. facilities has led terrorists to seek softer targets such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts, beaches, and planes. Americans in remote areas or border regions where military or police authority is limited or non-existent could also be targets of attacks or kidnappings.

U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. They may temporarily close or suspend public services to review security and ensure its adequacy. On occasion, the travel of official personnel at embassies and consulates around the world is restricted, and these posts may recommend that private American citizens avoid the same areas if at all possible. Services to American citizens could be affected if employees' movements are restricted. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens. American citizens in need of emergency assistance should telephone the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate before visiting there.

U.S. citizens planning to travel to East Africa should consult the Department's travel information at the Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, and 317-472-2328 from overseas.

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